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Karachi won by six wickets to qualify for the play-offs, chasing down target of 124 with Chris Gayle making 44 off just 17 balls.

By Abdullah Ansari (26th February, 2017)

Islamabad United Team

Dwayne Smith, Ben Duckett, Hussain Talat, Brad Haddin, Misbah-ul-Haq*, Shane Watson, Shadab Khan, Rumman Raees, Mohammad Sami, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan.

Karachi Kings Team

Babar Azam, Kumar Sangakkara*, Chris Gayle, Shoaib Malik, Ravi Bopara, Kieron Pollard, Imad Wasim, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Amir, Usama Mir, Usman Khan Shinwari.

After a prolonged delay due to rain and a wet outfield, a 15-over match commenced as Sangakkara won the toss and opted to field with Gayle returning, replacing Jayawardene. Ajmal and Duckett replaced Rafatullah and Badree for Islamabad. Smith and Duckett started aggressively with the former hitting a few boundaries in the first couple of overs. Duckett hit Sohail for two fours but then picked out mid-on off a slower ball. A few tight overs also saw Hussain Talat run out after some good work by Imad Wasim. Watson tried to get a move on due to the reduced number of overs but was caught off Sohail. Haddin and Smith got a few boundaries to provide momentum but both fell to Usman off consecutive deliveries, caught at long on with Pollard taking a blinder to dismiss the latter. Misbah and Shadab got away a six each but both fell to Amir in the last over as Islamabad ended on 123/7.

Karachi came out firing as Babar Azam got away a few boundaries in the first couple of overs. The next two overs were tight and built some pressure on the chasing side. Gayle then came to the party at last with two big sixes and a four off Irfan. He then went after Ajmal, hitting him for three sixes off consecutive deliveries to put Karachi in control of the chase. However, the off-spinner had the last laugh, dismissing him as he was caught at third man for 44. Sangakkara didn't last long, perishing to Shadab as he tried to clear the boundary. The young leg spinner tormented the batsmen as first Malik tried going after him but failed to do so and was then caught - he had Babar Azam bowled on the next ball with a good googly. Bopara and Pollard stayed through to the end as Karachi sealed victory with a ball to spare, knocking out Lahore Qalandars from the tournament.

Next match: Peshawar Zalmi vs Quetta Gladiators

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